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Old February 19th, 2011, 07:51 PM   #1
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Even Lighting in Premiere Pro CS5

Hi everyone,
I'm putting together a series of clips with varied lighting, some quite dark and others fairly light. Is there a magic button that averages the lighting so I can then adjust all of them in curves for a cohesive look? I've been taking each one and adjusting it up or down, but it takes forever and is not great. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Doug.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #2
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The color match effect may be of some help...
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Old February 20th, 2011, 02:22 AM   #3
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If the dark clips are similar to each other, and ditto for the light clips, then you could possibly speed things up a bit by adjusting a sample dark one and saving the adjustment as a preset. Then apply the custom preset to the other dark clips. Obviously, then do the same for the light clips.
You will probably still need to do some individual tweaking, but at least you wouldn't be starting from ground zero on each clip.
It might also help to open a reference monitor pane and keep a target clip on display that has the values you are aiming for- then you can constantly compare to the clip you are adjusting as displayed in the program monitor.
This sort of notion may be the closest you can get to automating the process.
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Old February 20th, 2011, 06:05 AM   #4
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Hi Doug.

Robert offers a practical solution...

Having a magic button or plugin for something is fine for shots that respond consistantly but in the real world there is no such thing as "the average shot" for such a button to be effective, as shots have some degree of uniqueness about them requiring us as humans to be the final judge.

For the shots you describe, I frequently use Video Effects/Adjust/Shadow-Highlight (without the auto setting). Together with Video Effects/Adjust/Proc Amp and Video Effects/Color Correction/RGB curves (including the Master Curve adjust if needs be). My judgement is from the screen, with additional reference to the scopes to reinforce what I am seeing (as Robert quite correctly states). Yes, it is tedious and generally there are no short cuts if you wish to retain overall control of the exposure-quality.

Having said that, my aim is to introduce the least amount of tweaks for any shot or sequence of shots.

Come the day it is all recorded/shot perfectly in the first place. Perhaps a dialin on the camera that tells it about my timeline context, now that would be the magic button for me -- but then I will have the auto/manual police banging on my door.

:)
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Old February 21st, 2011, 06:23 AM   #5
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Re: Even Lighting in Premiere Pro CS5

Thanks for your replies Battle, Robert and Claire.
Great suggestions and I'll give these try. Of course the best way is to shoot consistently, but I'm shooting nature on different days and intentionally underexpose on white birds so the feather detail is not blown out. Some days it's sunny and others overcast so there's always quite a range of exposures. It's quite jarring to the eye if not smoothed out. Dumbing down the in camera settings helped somewhat, but I still need to do better in post.
Regards & happy shooting,
Doug.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 07:44 PM   #6
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Re: Even Lighting in Premiere Pro CS5

Real pros will hate this, but Auto Levels does what you want. Drag it to one clip, copy, select all the others, Paste Attributes. Done. It won't be perfect but it'll make them closer.

Even easier: nest the sequence and apply the Auto Levels effect once to the target sequence/clip.

Claire's right: there's no such thing as an average clip, but Auto Levels pretends that there is, and tries to make all clips conform to its idea of what is "average."
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Last edited by Adam Gold; February 22nd, 2011 at 09:04 PM.
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Old February 26th, 2011, 10:07 AM   #7
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Re: Even Lighting in Premiere Pro CS5

Hi Adam,
Thanks for your reply. Looks like this will do it for a quick first pass which may be good enough.
Regards,
Doug.
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